Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Fw: Life's Achievements

There's nothing the matter with me,
I'm just as healthy as can be,
I have arthritis in both knees,
And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze.
My pulse is weak, my blood is thin,
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.
All my teeth have had to come out,
And my diet I hate to think about.
I'm overweight and I can't get thin,
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.
And arch supports I need for my feet.
Or I wouldn't be able to go out in the street.
Sleep is denied me night after night,
But every morning I find I'm all right.
My memory's failing, my head's in a spin.
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.
Old age is golden - I've heard it said,
But sometimes I wonder, as I go to bed.
With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup,
And my glasses on a shelf, until I get up.
And when sleep dims my eyes, I say to myself,
Is there anything else I should lay on the shelf?
The reason I know my youth has been spent,
Is my get-up-and-go has got-up-and-went!
But really I don't mind, when I think with a grin,
Of all the places my get-up has been.
I get up each morning and dust off my wits,
Pick up the paper and read the obits.
If my name is missing, I'm therefore not dead,
So I eat a good breakfast and jump back into bed.
The moral of this as the tale unfolds,
Is that for you and me, who are growing old.
It is better to say 'I'm fine' with a grin,
Than to let people know the shape we are in. 

From Eff in Alaska.

Friday, 23 May 2008

New York To London Tunnel?

NEW YORK — Hello, London! ... Jolly good show, New York!

New Yorkers could see their English cousins across the pond Thursday without benefit of cable TV or video conferencing, courtesy of an unusual live optical hookup created by a conceptual artist with a fanciful tale of a long-lost tunnel.

An optical device called a "telectroscope" was placed at the Fulton Ferry Landing in Brooklyn and another one on the Thames River in London on Thursday.

Spectators stepped up to the machine on both sides of the Atlantic and waved and wrote greetings to each other in real-time on wipe-off message boards.

The contraption is the invention of Paul St George, a London artist known for his tiny replicas of monumental pieces of art.

Publicists will only say it uses fiberoptic communication. St George prefers to stick to his story that the machine was started by his great-grandfather in Victorian times and transmits images via a tunnel under the ocean.

According to the Web site, St George's work "has always been concerned with questioning the relationship between the viewer and what is viewed. His work is also often associated with different realities, spectacle and viewer participation."

The telectroscopic spectacle and viewer participation will be in operation on both sides of the Atlantic until June 15.


Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Lynn (Boyce) Smith tells you her life growing up on the estate.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Lynn (Shelvey) Smith wants to share her life on the Estate.

Dear Cuckooites, I have been reading the memories on the website now for a while and thought I would add my memories. Probably not of much interest to many of you, as I am slightly younger than some/most of the visitors to your site. My name is Lynn Smith, I have been at the last two reunions in Perivale with my mum and sister. I am the one singing away to the old war time songs, nothing exceptional in that I hear you say, other than I am only 41!!! Thanks to the many family parties at 71, Cuckoo Avenue I appear to be the only 41 year old who knows all the words to roll out the barrel, my old man's a dustman and the hokey cokey!!. My mum for those of you who don't know us is Florence Boyce (nee Shelvey). Or 'Flossie pom pom' to Tommy. We lived for a while in Wakelin Road, in a house which my mum is convinced was haunted and then moved to 71, Cuckoo. My mum and her many brothers and sisters grew up in no. 95 Cuckoo and during our early days my Nan Beatrice and my uncle Vic continued to live at 95. Many of you will remember my uncle Vic. He was quite a character. If he wasn't helping out at Moody's greengrocers shop he was guarding the church in Cuckoo Avenue, he was very protective and was often heard yelling at the kids for daring to sit on the wall! Although I have a few years on many of you it is amazing how similar our memories are. There are five of us Boyce/Shelvey kids. I am the fourth girl and then my brother was born, dad just had to keep going until he got that boy!! Many of my younger trips out of the street were in the watchful eye of my next sister up, Sylvia (much to her annoyance). She was nine years older than me and not wishing to grass on her, but it was under her supervision that we went paddling in the Brent at the bunny park and got locked in the enormous gates at Gunnersbury Park. Both places of course we were not supposed to be, mum nearly chocked on her dinner during a family meal when my sister and I were reminiscing about those days. Sylvia soon grew tired of having to drag me around and sure enough the day arrived when I became 'big enough' to cross the road onto the Conker tree islands. Wow didn't I feel important. The fun we had on those islands over the coming years should have been bottled and fed to the kids of today who have no imagination because their world revolves around a t.v. screen. The leaves in Autumn were our dens, we would compete with kids from other families to see who could create the best. Our games were not without casualties though, the dens often became war hides and the conkers our weapons. I think the Doyles usually won, being five boys they always had an advantage. My fondest memories of the estate have to be at the bunny park. We spent what seems now like our entire childhood and adolescence at the park. It is also a special place for me because my dad, Bernard Boyce built the fish pond, maintained the bunny section of the animal enclosures and built much of the newer section of the animal cages e.g. monkeys, goats etc. Dad sadly died very unexpectedly eighteen months after taking early retirement and leaving the estate to move to Clacton. So you can see why that old pond means so much to me. My first Saturday job was working in the hairdressers with my sister Sylvia in Borders Road, many a blue rinse did I wash out! I attended the first two Brentside schools then went to Drayton Manor. I loved my school days and had the greatest pleasure returning to Drayton for a 75th anniversary reunion a couple of years ago. Saw the school and got .

exceptionally drunk with old friends I hadn't seen for over twenty years. Eventually made it back to Colchester on the train, having fallen asleep and travelled the whole length of the central line – twice! oops

Well dad thought he had moved far enough away from us all to begin enjoying his early retirement, ha, ha, little did he know we were all going to follow him to Clacton, only leaving Sylvia and her family living in Cuckoo. Two sisters and my brother now live in Clacton, Sylvia is in Windsor and mum and I reside together with my teenagers and mad dog in Colchester, Essex. Mum now has 16 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. We have attended the last two reunions as I said at the beginning and thoroughly enjoyed them. Mum has had the chance to meet up with friends that she thought she would never see again. And yes she was the one still partying at 2 a.m. after the last one!!! I am truly grateful for this. I am also grateful to the website for another reason. As well as working full time I have the joy of updating my ancient NNEB (nursery nurse qualification gained at good old Southall College of Technology) by doing a part time degree at University Campus Suffolk. Last semester I had to do a presentation on the history of childhood. Well I had bored the other students (most of whom are the same age as my daughter) with long words from text books so I thought I would take them down a real life path of childhood history. I read them some of the earlier memoirs from the site. The conversation this evoked was amazing. They were excited by the prospect of having that much fun and freedom as a child. Sadly none of them could say that their childhoods held such fantastic warmth and some of them couldn't even relate to the concept of living without a computer or having the t.v. switch itself off in the middle of your favourite programme because the fifty pence had run out!!! I left that room reminded of how lucky I am to have grown up where I did, when I did. I also got a first for that module, so thanks Cuckooites, you've helped me towards me degree!!! Well I have written an essay here so better go now, teenagers due home for their tea soon, dog waiting to be fed and mum watching home and away. Will see you all again in 2010.

Patricia Tucker sent in this great Photo,Do you reconise yourself?

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Fw: 2009 Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and Sedona, Arizona Trip

Hi everyone,
I'm getting back to you with the tentative details and possible dates for the 2009 Las Vegas trip you've shown interest in.  We feel the best time of year for a Vegas visit would be February or March.  With that in mind, here goes:
Arrive March 2. Leave Gatwick London 10:45 AM by Virgin Atlantic non-stop flight, arrive Las Vegas 13:30 PM same day.  Cost of flight £479.80 round-trip per person. 
Depart March 10. Leave Las Vegas at 17:00 PM by Virgin Atlantic non-stop flight, arrive Gatwick 09:50 AM March 11.
We would spend the first three nights in Vegas at the Imperial Palace, Superior room, king-size bed or two queen beds, your choice, for approx. £40 per night for two people. This hotel is located right in the middle of the 'strip' where all the Vegas action is.
March 5, we would leave and travel to the Grand Canyon spending two nights within half mile to the entrance of the Grand Canyon National Park .
March 7, we would head for Sedona, Arizona, a lovely town located in the mountain foothills approx. 45 miles from Phoenix, Arizona.  This area is noted for its serenity and peaceful tranquility and where many of the great western movies where filmed.  It has some of the finest red rock scenery anywhere in the U.S., many fine restaurants, and some fun excursions to see the 'Wild West'.
March 9, leave Sedona to return to Las Vegas for two nights stopping on the way to visit Hoover Dam, one of the seven man-made wonders of the world.
We would have three couples traveling in mini-vans ( people movers), they usually hold 8 people but for comfort and room for luggage, we suggest only 6 people per van.  The approx. cost would be £70 per couple, not including petrol - we would say maybe an additional £25 per couple (assuming petrol costs don't skyrocket any further).  We would have the mini-vans for the whole trip to use as transportation in Vegas saving lot's of cash on taxis, etc.  The number of mini-vans we get will depend on the number of travelers and volunteer drivers.
Total cost for the trip, not including food, entertainment, gambling, excursions and whatnot, would be approx. £750 per person (not including petrol.)
Effo, you and George (and anyone traveling from the U.S.) your cost will be different simply because you're not traveling from the UK, you're traveling from different places in the U.S. but at least you can see what the other associated costs would be, approximately.
If we do this trip, each couple would be expected to book all their own air travel.  We would set up the hotel reservations and give you a booking  # so you can call or email and reserve rooms in your own name with your own credit card information.
This may be premature at this time as we would need at least six couples to make this work.  This is just an example of what could be done.  As an added footnote, you should figure that Vegas shows (entertainment) with top billing run between £50 to £60 per person.  Although most good hotels/casinos (including the Imperial Palace) have their own free entertainment so it's not REQUIRED that you spend big bucks for Vegas shows.
Let me know what you think of these ideas as soon as possible and if you are still interested.  Airfare is cheaper if you are willing to do a one stop flight but take around 5 hours longer. If we decided and could come up with six couples, I would suggest the airfares should be booked as soon as possible as they change frequently.  But please don't do anything yet, until we have a consensus and a commitment by enough people.  Hotels can be done at a later date.
All the very best and as they say in Vegas, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!
Tommy and Sue

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Cuckoo Estate PAT PERCIVAL


Hi Tommy
        My name is Patricia Tucker I was known as Pat Percival and came from Rom ford in Essex in 1945 when my father came home from being a p.o.w 5yr 6 moth in Germany we came to live with my Grandparents in Little John Road we then went to live in the Prefabs in Riverside Close no 35 I went to a school in Kennedy Road don't  really remember a lot about that school then attended St Ann`s Secondary modern School I Was given your book to read from a lady called Netta I remember her sister used to work in Douglas's our local paper shop I Have three brother`s younger  than I  My brother Ronnie was named by terry finnucan, We knew him so well the next was my brother Eric he is a mentally handicap so sweet every one knew Eric on the estate  they us to call him Elke he is 61 they said he wouldn't reach twenty then comes Colin Percival  My brother`s  Ronnie and Colin attended cuckoo boy`s school which then became broadside  Do you know that when we moved into the prefabs I remember going on the site  where the School is built and it was  like a dump where us kids used to play does any one remember that? My mother`s name was Lottie she received the British Empire Medal from  the Queen. she also received the Binny Memorial Award Also The Carnegie Trust Award and The metropolitan Police award for  Bravery And saving  Human life twice within a few years She was  in all the papers even the Daily Mirror the Heroine Of Hanwell and do you know  we were given Keys to a new house within a week which was 54 Westcott
                                                                                                                                                                    cott Crescent Hanwell it was a wonderful time I got my first bedroom to my self  I am still reading the book and find it fantastic  MY dad`s name was Ron Percival he was in the British legion  also my grandfather and grandmother  Flo and Tom Percival they moved from Little John round to Home farm road NUMBER 65   so many names in the book I cant believe I knew so many people I did run the young children`s Sunday school  in the old cuckoo school with Mr Bristol It  was the  Salvation  Army  any body remember those  Sundays?  I will be 70 in june and in Aug will be our 50 annerversery Ron Tucker my husband was born in King Street in Southall we  met at Glaxo`s ALan Stone was my first love if he is still out there give him my regards there were lots of boy friends my mum always covered for me because my dad was very stricked listen I could go on for hours I just wanted to let you know  Tommy thanks for bringing back so many fantastic memories   xxxx regard to every one I knew.   Now called Patricia not Patsy Percival 

WILL SORT PHOTO OUT LATER I have just  found out how to do it  amazing  xx

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Design for our new Brooch and Lapel badge



Hi Cuckooites,
exciting news we have just placed our order for Lady's Brooches and Men's Lapel Badges .They are of the finest design and detail as you can see by the blown up design of our motto and logo.They will come with a safety pin clasp design for safety and easy attachment to clothing.
You can wear these with pride showing other folks and friends where we came from and they will be eye openers for clarity and design.
Jackie is now taking orders for these and the cost is Four pounds including shipping.Those of you in North America can send Jackie dollars in the amount of $9.00 per brooch or lapel badge this includes shipping.Those paying in Euros or Australian dollars can check with Jackie for your conversion amount.Order yours today we have only ordered one hundred and when they have gone we will not be ordering anymore unless we have advanced orders for 100.
Contact or mail cheques to Jackie made payable to Cuckooites account at.

Jackie Stringer

37 Weall Court

School Lane

Pinner, Middlesex, England  HA5 5PG

Phone number  0208 868 3133



This will sell out fast.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Eileen Higginbottom Remembers her life on the Cuckoo Estate.

Memories of Eileen Wilson

(nee Higginbottom)


My brother Tom has twisted my arm into writing my memories of life on the Cuckoo Estate.  I can remember it as clear as a bell, the day we left Paddington to move to Cuckoo Avenue.  It was 1937, I was ten years old and it was a hot July day.  We came by train from Paddington to Ealing Broadway, changed to the push n' pull to Castlebar but missed our station and arrived at Greenford instead.  We walked from Greenford past the Grenada, along the Brent till we got to 67 Cuckoo Avenue.  It seemed like a long journey and we were tired and hungry by the time we got there.  The first week in our new home we ran up and down the stairs putting lights on and pulling the toilet chain – this was all new to us as we'd never had electricity or an indoor toilet – we'd lit our house in Paddington by gas mantels.   But our Dad soon put a stop to all that nonsense and he only had to tell us once.


When I look back over the years, I can remember the start of the War.  We were evacuated to Wales to 'Mountain Ash' in the Rhondda Valley – me, my two younger sisters, Kit and Pat, and my cousin Ivy.  I wonder if any of you were there also?  I can remember my Mum saying we wouldn't be separated but who would want to take on four girls?  So, Pat being the youngest came with me and then Kit and Ivy were billeted together.  Every week-end we used to go to the train station planning to escape home.  I think we were there about 18 months and then there was a lull in the bombing so we came home on a holiday but never went back.


I also attended school at St. Anne's.  Miss Haines was our head mistress.  I left school at 14 years old and started work at Trepur, a factory in Perivale, making cases for mortar bombs. 


We had great neighbors on the Avenue, I can remember the Weeks, Bickerstaffs, Fields, Dyers, Culvers, Shelveys, Shellys, Dalys and many more.  I read where someone asked if anyone remembers going hop-picking.  I do, we used to go when we lived in Paddington down to Kent, but the last time was in 1945, the year the War ended.  I remember the Italian prisoners of war who worked on the hop farms – but if you can believe it, they weren't guarded, they were very nice people and made toys for us.


When we lived on the Cuckoo Estate there were nine of us.  Sadly, Tom and I are the only ones left.  My sister Kit died just a few weeks ago.  She had hoped to be at the Reunion in April.


My friend Beryl and I met when I started work and we used to go dancing at Hammersmith Pali and Covent Gardens.  We used to walk home along the Western Avenue and the ack-ack guns would start firing if an air raid was on.  I also remember the Battle of Britain and watched the dogfights in the sky.  When the doodle bugs fell on Cuckoo Avenue, we had a Morris shelter indoors and my sister Florrie ran outside in her cami-knickers and got told off by our Dad.


In 1948 I met my husband Cyril.  He was a regular in the Coldstream Guards and was sent to Malaysia at the end of 1948.   After he came home two years later we were married in St. Mary's Church by Father Russell.  Does anyone remember Father Russell?   Cyril died in 1976 whilst we were on holiday in the States.  We have one son Brian and three grandchildren.


I wonder how many of you remember where Douglas's Sweet Shop on Borders Road started?  He had a cabin on waste ground at the end of Laurie Road, and there was a disabled man who came around with a sweet cart.


I also remember the great parties we had in our house at Christmastime.  Mr. Daly played the violin, my dad played the accordion, my uncle played a mouth organ and somewhere a piano came into the house. Anyone who happened in was made welcome.  A barrel of beer would be in the hall and everyone would dance the conga around the conker trees.  Those were great days.


I've lived in my masonette in Northolt for 54 years.  Things have really changed over the years.  Now, when new neighbors move in the close, you hardly see them, not like years ago when you knew everything and everyone on the Cuckoo Estate.

Eileen and Kitty Higginbottom 1948

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Ken Bailey's memory's from the Cuckoo estate.

Memories evoked by the 2008 reunion.


My name is Ken Bailey and I lived at 4, Hillyard Road with my parents and two sisters, Edna and Val. My mum and dad moved into No 4 in 1937 when I was 6 months old. No 4 was the first house next to St. Christophers where the air raid shelter was built facing our front door.

My earliest memories were going round to the shelters in the infants school each night when the blitz was on. I can remember a micky mouse gas mask, a blanket tucked under my arm and a piece of string round my neck attached to an old cocoa tin filled with sultanas. (Sweets being non-existent in those days).

We would walk back to the house in the morning after an air-raid and see the people who had been bombed out at the shelter which was a receiving centre. It always seemed that Harp Road and Templeman Road got the worst of the bombing, presumably because they backed on to the railway.

I would have now been at the infants school but the only names I can remember are Miss Armitage my teacher and Micky Farr from Wakeling Road who was in my class.

Moving on to junior school, after a brief evacuation to Derby which only lasted for the summer holiday, I have only the haziest of memories. I can remember my class teacher was Mr Griggs who had just come back from the war and a Mr Fry who I think was the music teacher. My best friend at the time was Kenny Stannard who lived in Bordars Walk above the shops. The highlight of junior school seemed to be the sports day which was combined with the girls school, and trying to get Audrey Barton as a partner in the thread the needle race. (Don't remember succeeding!)

After passing the eleven plus and going to Drayton Manor I guess that the biggest thing in my life was the church lads brigade.

I can remember the first summer camp we went to at Whitecliff Bay on the Isle of Wight with Father Russell in charge of us. We were taken down to Portsmouth to catch the ferry on the back of an open lorry driven by somebody from Greatdown Road. The first people I can remember running the CLB were Sid Barr and Les Bennett, followed by Len Weedon and Jack Annis.

Jack Annis worked at Evershed & Vignoles in Chiswick where so many of the lads went to work and do their apprenticeship including myself.

With the influence of Jack Annis who came from Devon we had two terrific summer camps down there. The first at Ladram Bay, Otterton and the second at Littleham. Both places were close to Budleigh Salterton.

Names I remember from this time were the Stamford boys, Cyril, Alan and Brian (Babe), Spud Murphy, Roy Lovell, Sid Hooper, David & John Cowlin, Terry Bransfield, Peter Dobing, John Thompson, Charlie Brown, Ronnie Baker, John & Eric Corsham, Ted Mattingley, Freddie Reese, Peter Tierney and a young Terry Finucane. I am sure with prompting many more would come to mind as around that period most of the boys from the estate were in the CLB at one time or another.

After the CLB my main memories seem to be of playing football for Hanwell Community, the team being run by Howard Spring. Team mates at the time apart from those who moved on from CLB were Jackie Stannard, Tommy Anderson, Les Milbank, Derek Laws and Mick Moran.

Then of course there was the dance every Saturday night at the Park Hotel dancing to the sound of Bob Garganico. This would be around 1953. Most of the fellows and girls seemed to go. I think the "in" beer was Watneys Red Barrel and after the dance you walked a different girl home every other week.

May Chat Room.

Here we go,please use the chat room to correspond with friends and family.This is a open forum,just have fun and enjoy the experience.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

May Newsletter

Hi Cuckooites everywhere,
what a busy month April was for me,April 3rd I left Seattle for the U.K. for two weeks to get the Reunion set up and take care with Jackie any loose ends we had not covered before I arrived.As you all know the reunion was a great success and I hope all you all had a chance to visit our website and see all the great photo's we have posted and the comments folks have sent in on how they enjoyed the evening and the time they could spend with old and new friends from the estate.The turn out was our biggest by far and the crowd was happy dancing and singing the night away to a great musician who could play all the old music we all remember from those day's from long ago.Since I have returned many folks have contacted me to say thank you for the efforts put in by Jackie Stringer to not only get our book published with all the great story's from the past submitted by many of you but also for the prompt way the copies where mailed out.Let us all give Jackie a big thank you.
I understand a second book is in the works and we hope to have enough story's from many of you who have promised to contribute ready for the next reunion which is planned for April 2010.WE have a new bank account set up with the Halifax and Jackie tells me with have nearly 500.00 pounds deposited in the Cuckooites account.Jackie also has asked me to let you all know to start making your checks out to Cuckooites for all future payments.
Another new venture for us is the Lapel pins we are working on for our group.This pin will be in the design of our Cuckooite emblem and folks can wear them proudly showing others we are proud where we came from that place Beyond the Brent called the Cuckoo Estate.Once we have these ready we will let you know the price and shipping costs.All funds we raise will help pay for our website and lower the cost of future Reunions for everyone involved.
As you all know we are a non profit group we do not charge a fee to belong to this group or to participate in our website like Friends Reunited does but if you feel we are a group who offers something you can enjoy and participate in we do accept a donation to this cause,no one is obligated to send in a donation but all money's received will be put in to the general fund for future endeavors..
You can send your donations made payable to Cuckooites To Jackie Stringer for any amount you wish to
Jackie Stringer

37 Weall Court

School Lane

Pinner, Middlesex, England  HA5 5PG

Phone number  0208 868 3133

Email Busysmiths@aol.

Jackie would also like to let you know we have a limited amount of books still available from our third publishing for a fee of seven pounds this includes mailing and shipping call her to reserve yours.

With your help we will continuo to promote this group and seek out as many old and new friends we can find from the estate and try to reunite you all with as many folks as possible.Please take the time to participate in our website and send in your story's and photo's from the past. Help us make this the best place to visit to remember the good times we all shared as kids from a time in our past where we grew up and all became Cuckooites.Visit us at      

Looking forward to hearing from you, have a great Month.